Presidential aspirant Vice President Leni Robredo assured persons with disability (PWDs) that if she wins, her government will listen to them when crafting policies concerning the sector and that their consultations with not be mere “cover-ups”.
Robredo made the statement in her speech in a virtual signing of a disability agenda with PWDs on Thursday, February 17.
In her speech, Robredo said her advocacy for PWDs is personal as “disability runs in the family.” She added that she understood the plight of PWDs and that the government can do more to help them.
“Marami pang puwedeng gawin pero… kasi siya isinapuso ng Gobyernong National (There are a lot of things that could be done but the National Government didn’t take it to heart),” she claimed.
“Maraming mga opportunities for PWDs na hindi nabibigyan ng– hindi nama-maximize (There are many opportunities for PWDs that weren’t maximized),” she added.
If she wins in the upcoming 2022 polls, Vice President Robredo assured PWDs that they will be part of policymaking, especially those concerning their sector.
“Yung maaasahan niyo sa akin, every step of the way, kalahok kayo (You can expect from me that you will be included in every step of the way),” she said.
“Walang polisiyang patungkol sa sektor niyo ang ilalabas na hindi kayo nabigyan ng pagkakataong makilahok, hindi lang na tinanong pero makilahok (No policies about your sector will be implemented without your voice being heard— not just asked but you will be given the chance to participate),” she added.
Robredo claimed that her consultations with PWDs will not just be a “cover” so it can be said such a thing took place.
“Paminsan imi-meeting nila once kahit may oposisyon ‘yung mga miniting nila basta na-meeting nila (Some officials will meet them once, even if there’s an opposition there, just to say that they met with them),” she said.
“Parang yun na yung cover nila na nagkaroon ng konsultasyon. Ang maaasahan niyo sa akin na klaseng konsultasyon, hindi ganoon (It serves as their cover that a consultation took place. You can expect nothing of the sort from me),” she added.
In her speech, Vice President Robredo enumerated her programs for PWDs. First, she agreed that there has to be a proper database for all PWDs in the country so their needs can be easily addressed.
“Ito yung laging problema natin dito sa bansa natin. Hindi maayos yung datos kaya hindi nakakaabot sa marami yung tulong ng pamahalaan (This has been our country’s problem. We do not have an organized data that’s why government services do not reach everybody),” she said.
“Yung polisiya dapat lagi itong nakabase sa datos. So, mahirap na merong polisiya na hindi kumpleto ‘yung datos kasi malamang maraming mga pangangailangan ay hindi matutugunan (Policies should always be based on data. It’s difficult to have a policy with an incomplete data because a lot will probably be overlooked),” she added.
The Vice President likewise vowed to implement the mandatory PhilHealth membership for PWDs to ensure that the benefits and services that PhilHealth has to offer can reach them. However, she said this is difficult to implement due to the lack of a complete database.
The Vice President Vowed to bring back the National Council on Disability Affairs to the Office of the President (OP) from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Robredo vowed to strengthen the implementation of the Accessibility Law as she claimed that it has been dismally implemented.
“Ang pinaka intent naman nito maging inclusive yung mga engagement infrastructure natin at iba pang mga serbisyo para sa inyo pero tila nasa papel lang siya (The intention is to make our infrastructures and services inclusive but it seems that is only on paper),” she said.
“Merong sumusunod, merong hindi sumusunod… pero walang penalties na binibigay doon sa mga hindi sumusunod. So, sisiguraduhin natin na 100 percent yung pagpapatupad (Some are following, some are not but those who are not following the law are not being penalized. We will ensure that it will be implemented to the letter),” she added.